The Older Brother’s Older Wife Chips In

Hi Fat Heads!

All right, first — about that title…

I’ve used the “Older Brother” moniker since I started guest posting here.  Actually, I started using it when commenting on some of Tom’s posts, and then adopted it as a nom de plume for my posts when Tom started letting me take over The Big Chair while he was off on sundry missions to educate and entertain the masses.  As some of the other family got mentioned, I kind of stuck to it — “The Middle Son” (our Ranger), “The Oldest Son” (you know you love the pizza), etc.

When I’ve mentioned my bride of these past 30 years, it’s always been as The Wife.  But “The Older Brother’s Wife” just sounded kind of flat for a title.  I’ve always kidded that I married an older women, because she was born exactly three weeks before me.  [Being a guy, that’s how I remember her birthday — “let’s see, my birthday’s the 16th, so 16 from 21 is 5, so then 5 from 31 is, okay — the 26th! No wait, May has 31 days, she’s born in April, so that’s 30, minus the 5 is — the 25th!”  Easy peasy.]  So, when I decided to share a great recipe she’s been making, I figured I had to stick to the system.  Don’t worry, she’s okay with it.

And I’m okay with sleeping on the couch for awhile.

Anyway, I’m just going to come out and say this (you may want to hold onto something) :

Some days, you just don’t want bacon.



Still there?

I know.  Bacon and eggs is kind of the sacramental breakfast meal for us low-carb/paleo/primal/real food/what-have-you types.  But some days you just want something different.  And I know we make fun of the “V” people who rave about burger-shaped soy crud, and meat-like soy crud, and nugget-like soy crud, and we say things like “you never hear Grok saying he wished someone would make a steak that tastes like tofu!”  but every once in awhile I think I’d just like to maybe have a bowl of cereal.

I particularly liked the granola one with honey and oats from the old guy with the long white hair and funny hat.  I’d have a bowl of that in the morning and think “boy, that was good!  And healthy!  Maybe I should have another bowl.”  And then I’d think, “Man, that was REALLY good.  Maybe I’ll just have one more bowl.”  Then off to work, all fueled up for a couple of hours of work, before starting to wonder how I could be so damned hungry after eating such a big, healthy breakfast.

So yeah, like that kind, but without the metabolic roller coaster getting involved.

Well, The Wife likes bacon and sausage and all, but she doesn’t like it every day.  Plus, she leaves for work most mornings before 7am, and some days cooking just doesn’t seem to fit into the morning schedule.  So she kind of went on a mission to find some other low-carb breakfast options, because you can only eat so much yoghurt.

Some she found were good, some she liked and I didn’t care for, or vice versa, but she hit on one a couple of months ago that the whole family likes.  It’s called “Grain Free Coconut Crunch Granola.” She found it on pinterest, but it came from a nice young lady in Australia with a blog called Brooks Kitchen of Culinary Dreams that focuses on low-carb, low-sugar, gluten-free recipes.

I told a commenter in an earlier post who was hesitant about cooking because of a disaster trying a cake or something that “baking is science, but cooking is art.”  In other words, exacting vs. carefree.  Well this recipe is so easy, I’d put in at the “finger-painting” end of the art scale.

Here’s the ingredients:

3 cups coconut flakes (unsweetened)
2 cups cashews, roughly chopped *
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup flaxmeal
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut oil
10 drops stevia **
1/2 cup dried mango, roughly chopped ***

We always do the recipe as printed the first time, then play around. We make the following substitutions now:

* 1 cup cashews, 1/2 cup walnuts, and 1/2 cup pecans for variety (plus, it’s cheaper!)
** Splenda — for a double recipe we use 3 packets (about 1 tsp)
*** We use a mango/blueberry/cherry mix from Trader Joe’s

Assemble your ingredients, set the oven at 300(F), and then do a little chopping (just the nuts now).

Here’s what we consider a rough chop:

Once that’s done, mix the first 5 dry ingredients around in a big bowl:

Melt the coconut oil if it’s not already liquid, stir the sweetener in well, then add it to the dry stuff and mix it well (I didn’t forget the mangoes — they come in later).

Dump the bowl onto a parchment covered cookie sheet, and spread evenly (this, per normal at our house, is a double batch):

Put the cookie sheet in the oven for 20 minutes, then pull it out and use a spatula to turn the mix over to keep it browning evenly.


While the granola is doing this first 20 minutes in the oven, we chop the mango fruit mix:


Check and turn the granola again every 10 or 15 minutes until it reaches your favorite shade of golden brown (probably 2 or 3 more turns, maybe an hour or so total in the oven — remember, it’s finger painting, not rocket science).

Now you take it out of the oven, mix in the fruit, and and let it cool.


At that point it’s all over except the storing. Or eating.


I eat it like cereal in a bowl with some of Linda’s raw milk; The Wife likes to mix it with Greek yoghurt and take it with her to work; it’s good on ice cream; or just shake some out of the container and snack on it as is.

All the fun, none of the crash.


Oh yeah, and

Happy Moo Year!


— The Older Brother (and The Wife)


16 thoughts on “The Older Brother’s Older Wife Chips In

  1. TonyNZ

    “Coconut flakes (unsweetened)?”


    Where I’m from, coconut flakes contain coconut and…err…nothing else?

    Does EVERYTHING in your country have sugar or starch or HFCS added?

    I did make that mistake once though. I like iced tea (you know, tea with lemon, chilled down with ice) so I bought some “iced tea” at the gas station. Took one swig and threw the monstrosity out, it had more sugar than coke.


    Yeah, I think it’s pretty much a rule here. In the northern states, iced tea by default is unsweetened; in the South, you have to ask for unsweetened or you pretty much get a cup of sugar per cup of tea!

    The Older Brother

  2. Firebird7478

    Looks great but I do not like the texture of coconut. Are there any recommendations on a substitute?

    Didn’t see any. I don’t get a real coconut feel from this. I’d think the texture of all of the nuts would tend to modify the effect.


  3. Rachel

    We make something similar at our house for busy mornings and call it no-grain-ola. If you beat an egg white or two in with the oil, it makes the clumps stick together a bit more, which is nice for those times it becomes finger food rather than eaten with a spoon. Vanilla and cinnamon added to the oil is nice too.
    Never tried chia seeds in it, but will give it a shot now for variety.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Another great idea. I’d wondered about trying to get it to clump like the commercial stuff without gluten to bind it together. That’s going in the notes for the next batch.

    The Older Brother

  4. Lisa

    Thank you Older Brother and Wife…I will be making this today…I, for one, am sick of eggs! Those damn cows are looking too cute to eat!

    Well, Tartare has bought herself at least 6 months for nursing duty. Then, depending on what the folks in on the deal feel like, she may get put on breeder duty instead of freezer duty. The Wife naming the new one Noel isn’t going to make it any easier, but that’s probably a year and a half to two years out.

    The Older Brother

    1. Lisa

      Ok, I made this and it was amazing. My family devoured it. I only made a single batch, but from now on we will double it. Thanks for the reprieve from eggs.

  5. Janknitz

    Looks yummy!!!

    I ALWAYS end up getting distracted and burning granola-like things in the oven so I use the food dehydrator. It takes longer, but less fuss, and more even drying.

    Good idea, but we don’t have a food dehydrator. You definitely need to stay aware while this is in the oven. I set a timer for 10 minutes at a time after the initial 20.

    The Older Brother

  6. Boundless

    For anyone without the time, patience, or tools to roll your own, there is at least one prepared low-carb, high-fat, wheat-free, sugar-free, PUFA-free granola that’s also as organic and GMO-free as they could manage without driving the price even higher. It’s Wheat Belly (Davis) approved if that matters to you.

    Wheat-Free Market Foods
    Classic Granola
    U.S. mail order only so far, unless you live near New Providence, NJ.
    We keep a supply on hand, consume it with cream from a local dairy.

  7. Tale

    Have you tried to make it without the sweetener? My wife is extremely sensitive to non-sugar sweeteners and I’m wondering whether it would be better to just leave a sweetener out entirely or suck it up and put in some honey or maple syrup for her.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to try it without the sweetener, but we haven’t tried it yet. You could always add the honey or syrup on a per-serving basis.


  8. Daci

    You did not say what temp this should be cooked at. I gather you are baking and not broiling,right?

    Baking is correct. The temp is 300(F). It’s in the post just under the ingredients, but it’s a little obscure.

    The Older Brother

  9. Dan

    One breakfast I’ve been having for years (not super low carb though) is berries, yogurt, nuts and seeds. I buy the frozen berries since you get a little juice when you thaw them which adds a nice flavour to the yogurt. I use raisins to sweeten the whole thing up. Raisins used for baking seem to be the only ones not covered in sugar and/or oil. I think I will try this recipe and sub in the granola for my nuts mixture.

  10. Kristin

    I laughed out loud at the “Some days, you just don’t want bacon…still there?” I feel exactly that way. Don’t get me wrong. I love bacon and eat a lot of it. I make my own. Most days I’m perfectly happy to have a couple eggs and a couple slices of bacon. If I don’t want to think it just goes together quickly. But there are days I actually miss my old pintail oats with all the trimmings (maple syrup, peanut butter, dried fruit, assorted nuts…) Don’t succumb however because I know I’ll be starving 2 hours later.

    I’m assembling the software for this project (as Alton Brown used to say.) I’m looking forward to trying this and I’m going to add the egg white. I’ll also do half stevia and half honey as after much experimentation it is my doable low carb sweetener. The honey cuts the stevia bitterness. I also have some hemp seeds in the fridge that need using so they will go in there somewhere. Thanks so much and hope you don’t spend too long on that couch. Hard on the back. 🙂

    1. Carole W

      FYI, if you’d rather be able to avoid the honey, a recipe blog I frequent (healthyindulgences dot net) and most of her followers recommend KAL “Natural” Stevia extract (NOT the “organic”) as the best-tasting stevia out there, no bitterness. It’s available on Amazon. I haven’t tried it yet, but she was right about the last one she recommended — it used to be NuNaturals brand, until they changed suppliers or formulas or something.

  11. roxx

    made it, with a couple of changes, and love it! I mix it in yogurt but also use it as a topping for fruit crisps, yummm!!!

    my changes: only 2 cups coconut, add 1/2 cup pine nuts, double the flax, no almond flour, 1 tbsp sf syrup instead of sweetener and chopped dried cherries + cranberries . . . *laughing* . . . guess I didn’t make “it” but made “similar” . . . still good though!!!

  12. Miriam

    Very, very good! Thank you!

    I always don’t make things according the recipe first off. I use the recipe for inspiration and then follow my heart. This was some of the best inspiration in a while, and we’re grateful to you.

    Our version:
    all pecans
    no almond flour, but 1/2 C slivered blanched almonds
    no chia seeds (don’t know what those are, actually, but threw some flax seeds in for fun)
    fresh flax seeds ground to meal
    dried figs
    couple drops of maple syrup instead of stevia

    Totally awesome. Also thinking you could mix it with some almond butter or something and bake into bars, or skip the sweetner entirely and add some roughly chopped dark chocolate. The possibilities are nearly endless. Thanks again!


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